The term AI (Artificial Intelligence) is not new, yet it is more relevant today than ever before. While modern robots can now easily reproduce human actions and movements, the next stage is the development of self-thinking machines. They should be able to act autonomously, react to changing conditions and think analytically. But in which areas of daily life will AI realistically have more influence in the near future?
What is AI (artificial intelligence)?
Before we look at the influence of artificial intelligence, here is a brief explanation of what it actually means. Wikipedia provides the following description:
Artificial Intelligence (...). In computer science AI research is defined as the study of "intelligent agents": any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is applied when a machine mimics "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving".
The aim is to find new ways to process and solve tasks more efficiently. Current areas of application for artificial intelligence include facial recognition software, chatbots or digital assistants such as Siri or Google Now. And the development of new possibilities continues at a rapid pace.
Areas of life with potential for the use of artificial intelligenceArtificial intelligence already accompanies us in many areas of our daily lives and the more researchers work on improvements, the more points of contact there are. But what can we expect from a realistic perspective in the future?
Evaluation of natural phenomena
By analyzing large amounts of data within a very short timeframe, images of approaching weather phenomena are to be created on the basis of the sighted information. On the basis of these images, early warnings should then be given. This is interesting because according to PwC Germany experts counted a total of around 800 natural catastrophes in 2016, which is three times as many as in 1980. Thanks to such software, it should be possible in the future to save more people and prevent outbreaks of such occurrences such as forest fires.
As an example that artificial intelligence is already helpful in the detection of natural events, the example of a NASA satellite that was already collecting data while the scientists were still sending him a request. The satellite was notified by the alarm system of another satellite and an artificial intelligence instructed him to observe the volcano.
Stabilization of the ecosystem
Artificial intelligence should help to clean up the environment and reduce the effects of environmental pollution. To this end, systems are being developed that distinguish between biological organisms and pollutants and can process or degrade them separately (and correctly). In this process of targeted decomposition and consumption of waste products, the healthy, biological matter remains intact and the ecosystem can gradually recover itself.
AI can also help to combat air pollution caused by the combustion of fuels. Thanks to AI, escaping gases should be analyzed, identified and, if necessary, captured immediately after they are released if they contain harmful substances. The data collected will also enable accurate predictions of air pollution to be made.
The dream of a self-driving car is within reach thanks to Google, because autonomous, driverless cars already exist. However, they can currently only "... drive at the speed limit it has stored on its maps and maintains its distance from other vehicles using its system of sensors. " (Wikipedia). These criteria limit the area for self-driving cars enormously. And the legal aspect in various countries does not make it easy for development either, because the use of self-propelled cars would require certain regulations to be changed, such as the setting up of a caution triangle.
Autonomous cars can drive thanks to a laser radar system and a range finder. Software creates a detailed 3D map of the environment and combines it with other online maps. Based on the findings, the vehicle can create various data models. The use of such a technology is already used today in parking sensors and distance controllers and is to be further expanded for use in road traffic.
In addition to cars, public transport is also supposed to operate more and more autonomously. Many cities, such as Dubai or Copenhagen, are already using driverless trains. For example, a self-driving bus has been in service in Neuhausen am Rheinfall since mid-2017 - until now on a test site and from March 2018 also on regular service routes. As part of its SmartShuttle project, SBB (Swiss Federal Railway) also operates two autonomous buses over a distance of 1.5 km.
Use in medicine
In medicine, artificial intelligence is to be used, among other things, for the early detection of diseases. It is already possible to perform heart examinations with the help of special software and to detect heart attacks before they occur. And this is just the beginning. In February 2018, researchers published in the journal Biomedical Engineering a way to detect heart disease through retinal scans using a Google algorithm.
In the future, AI will also be used to analyze and evaluate test results of machines in order to ensure that they are read correctly. This is only possible because a software is adaptive and self-sufficient and can deliver even more precise results with each analysis.
AI in spaceWhile unmanned shuttles, rovers or probes are already being used today to collect data from different sources, the possibilities are far from exhausted here as well. Thanks to AI robots, this problem can now be circumvented and researchers can obtain data on the basis of which they can gather further insights. Thanks to Curiosity, which travels around Mars and collects information, it was found that the planet's surface is even less suitable for life than originally thought. For example, it can help astronauts to react more quickly to emergencies during manned flights. With the help of AI, problems should be detected at an early stage so that they can be prevented before they occur.
To sum it upThe human future cannot avoid the use of artificial intelligence. And yet artificial intelligence cannot (yet) be used without human intervention. It can already be said today that AI can help to prevent dangers and reduce costs as support for people in various areas. So we can be excited about what research will develop in the coming years and in which areas of our lives artificial intelligence will play a strong role.